Scott Wings and his imaginary friend Jack are a hybrid of childhood and adulthood, the fantastic and the frightening, and all kinds of hilarity and despair in between. A whimsical exploration in an enchanting location, Colossi is a magical performance filled with beautiful storytelling from the world of an adult’s imagination.
Down in a rainforest-like gulley in Highgate Hill sat a quaint pedestrian bridge decorated with cushions, blankets and the inviting glow of lanterns that lit the space. Scott greeted us warmly with ‘imagination warm-ups’ and an opened heart, and of course, his fantastic story of adventure.
As we met Scott and his imaginary friend Jack I was curious to discover how old the pair actually was. The endearing little wave and simple introductions seemed to shoot straight to the presence of a 5-year-old boy ready for “monster hunting”, but Wings’ quick wit and snappy acceptance of audience interaction was undeniably that of a talented and experienced performer. As each new character was introduced I felt the surrounding environment creep a little bit closer into my peripheral vision and my imagination joined Scott and Jack on their many and varied adventures.
Among a pink elephant, fairies, leprechauns, giants, a cyclops and many other familiar yet imaginative creatures, Scott and Jack remained the stars of the show displaying bravery, vulnerability and maintaining our attention for the 60 minute duration. Wings’ fantastic physicality and expressive performance made sure every character had a distinct presence within the story and with each contorted shape and manipulated face my appreciation for the exciting adventure grew along with each new member of the whimsical cast.
My favourite aspect of Wings’ writing was the consideration for a modern day imagination, be that a small child or an adult who still loves to explore. Wings’ writing incorporated memorable classics with exciting new characteristics, contemporary pop culture references like Dragon Ball Z and Harry Potter, and interesting offers like Pokémon and the LNP’s 2015/16 budget from audience members.
Wings cemented my appreciation for the mature themes of the piece in his concluding monologue. While the speech was clearly a personal reflection of the artist’s personal struggles, I felt a connection to Wings’ confessed self-doubt and anxieties in the uncertain world of an artist today. With each truthful word I felt Wings’ hand over his doubts and vulnerability as if he were freeing himself to fly above the monsters. The speech may have seemed jarring at the end of an otherwise mystical fantasy, but I felt Wings’ endearing sense of adventure, his electric physicality and his inspirational vulnerability created a beautiful journey for the audience to follow with their minds.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the performance on May 16th.